One of Orkney’s head teachers was far from blue when she realised the efforts two of her pupils had gone to recently.
Sisters Lisamarie and Daniella Mendes, from Kirkwall, knew of Papadale Primary head Wendy Bowen’s childhood enjoyment of the BBC children’s TV programme, Blue Peter, and the long-held wish to have a Blue Peter badge of her own. So, the girls had an idea.
Primary 7 pupil Lisamarie said: “We met Mrs Bowen on the street and told her about the six badges of summer – she said she had always wanted a Blue Peter badge. We decided if we did something big, we could nominate her.
“She put herself forward to be splashed on Pudsey Day and she did get splashed. We nominated her and then when she got the badge, she rang us up. It was pretty good we made her happy as she got a badge.”
A Blue Peter badge is an award for Blue Peter viewers, for those appearing on the show, or in recognition of achievement.
There are now a variety of Blue Peter badges that viewers can win, and are also cloth emblems depicting the Blue Peter logo.
Primary 5 pupil Daniella, nine, added: “I am quite a big Blue Peter fan – I have six Blue Peter badges and one emblem. Mrs Bowen deserves the emblem – that water must’ve been very cold when she got dunked!”
The girls each received a letter from Blue Peter, which stated: “Thank you for your lovely joint letter with a fun photo telling us all about the incredible fundraising for BBC Children in Need you Head Teacher Mrs Bowen has organised.
“We think it is absolutely amazing and we’re incredibly impressed that Mrs Bowen agreed to be splashed in the ‘Splash for Cash’.
“Sadly, we cannot award Mrs Bowen a blue badge because we can only give them to children aged between six and 15, but because we were so bowled over by your letter we have written her a lovely letter and sent her a very special Blue Peter cloth emblem which she can wear with pride.
“It was so nice of you to write to us we wanted to send a little something to thank you too – please find enclosed you very own Blue Peter emblem too.”
Mrs Bowen said she hasn’t stopped smiling since receiving the surprise delivery in the post.
“I was so excited when I got the emblem – I have been a big fan since I was little, and they knew about this. I could not believe when it arrived through the post – it made my day – I’m still smiling.
“I thought it was really kind of the girls to go to all the effort of getting this for me – it was brilliant.”
A Blue Peter badge is the much sought-after prize on the long-running children’s show, which started in 1958 on BBC1.
The idea of the badge began in 1963, and very quickly the simple white plastic shield bearing the distinctive blue ship logo became a highly desirable object.
It has had a variety of re-designs, plus there are now variety of different types of badge – including a green one for environmental work and a gold one awarded for acts of extreme bravery – but its ethos remains constant.